The brazilian state of Paraná produces 92% of the nation’s silkworm cocoons, they are mainly produced by families on small rural properties with an average area of 2.5 ha. They present an important opportunity to improve those families’ incomes. Sericulture contributes significantly to reducing rural flight because each hectare planted with mulberry tree, whose leaves are the only thing silkworms eat, creates a job. On the other hand, it takes 300 acres of soybeans to create just one job in the field.
Paraná sericulture has been developed in 174 municipalities. Data from the 2015 harvest revealed that Paraná has an estimated 1,790 families of sericulturists, who cultivate an area of 3,731 hectares of mulberry trees. The 2,428 tons of cocoons produced in the 2014/2015 harvest generated a Gross Value Added (GVA) of R$38,525,030.00.
As a point of comparison, if just 10% of the silk produced was used for silk handkerchiefs and scarves and sold in the region under the Vale da Seda label, the Gross Added Value from these two products would be over R$72,000,000.00, or the equivalent of more than double the revenue generated by selling the silkworm cocoons in natura.
In Paraná, no other region produces more silkworm cocoons than Pirapó River watershed, which encompasses 29 municipalities in northwestern Paraná and is known as Silk Valley, the region that accounts for the biggest production of silkworm cocoons in the Western World. The municipalities in the Silk Valley have on average twice the area planted with mulberry trees as any other region of Paraná.
The municipalities that constitute the Silk Valley are:
Cruzeiro do Sul
Jandaia do Sul
Munhoz de Melo
|Nossa Senhora das Graças
Pres. Castelo Branco
To support the consolidation of the silk commodity chain in Paraná, the Silk Valley Project aims to establish original identity for silk products produced in this region.
In addition to offering consumers products that carry the Vale da Seda label; a guarantee of composition, quality, and origin; and responsibility for sustainable regional development, the Silk Valley Project aims to:
a) developing products of silk yarns and silk fabrics;
b) training of entrepreneurs to produce and sell silk items;
c) establish brand identity, packaging, and advertising;
d) implement joint marketing and commercialization practices.
The Indication of Origin by Vale da Seda aims to provide small business owners the opportunity to benefit from the high potential of added value that silk offers, transforming the region into a tourist-destination shopping center to purchase various items of clothing and accessories made from silk.